How did the levy come to be?

The City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) has a clear transportation vision – to make the Island transportation network safe and accessible for all modes of transportation. However, without a dedicated funding source, the City has been unable to make substantial progress towards achieving this vision for the benefit of the community. The Safe Access for Everyone (SAFE) Mobility Levy provides dedicated funding for a safe and accessible Bainbridge Island.

The levy invests in upgraded shoulders, trails with a focus on Safe Routes to Schools, and connections in the Winslow Core that will provide our community with local transportation choices. These facilities will make it safer for kids and families to walk to and from school, for different modes of transportation to share the road, and for those of all ages and abilities to walk, bike and roll around the Island. 

A purple landscape version of graphic of a school, pedestrian, biker and trees with a path leading to the school.
A purple graphic of a school, pedestrian, biker and trees with a path leading to the school.

Key dates

Momentum leading to the creation of the SAFE Mobility Levy has been growing for over 20 years, with the current effort to develop the levy beginning in 2017.


Beginning in 2017, the City began working with a citizen task force, appointed by City Council, to review options and provide recommendations for funding transportation infrastructure improvements on the Island, in alignment with the updated City’s Comprehensive Plan (2016). The task force held a series of meetings and public workshops over nine months to consider the prioritized infrastructure improvements for funding.

March 2018

In March 2018, Bainbridge Mobility Alliance (BMA), a citizen coalition, surveyed Bainbridge Islanders on their transportation concerns and suggested improvements. BMA received 1,500 survey responses; 88% of those surveyed responded that shoulder improvements on major Island roads were most important with 76% indicating paths/trails the second most important to enable kids to walk or bike to school.

June 2018

In June 2018, the citizen task force gathered public input from its meetings and the BMA survey to develop their recommendations for transportation improvements, which were presented to City Council. The recommendations included $15 million in new revenue to be dedicated to multimodal transportation, with a focus on shoulder improvements and Safe Routes to Schools.

July 2018

In July 2018, the City Council approved Resolution 2018-21, explaining how funds raised by the SAFE Mobility Levy would be used and how the public would be involved in making final decisions on the use of ballot measure funds, if approved.

Our Transportation Vision:

  • Provide connections to neighborhood service centers, schools and parks
  • Provide immediate safety improvements for large numbers of users and potential users
  • Serve a range of different users, for a range of different types of trips
  • Coordinate with current and planned trail facilities developed by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District
  • Provide geographic equity as much as possible


What does the levy include?

The seven-year, $15-million Safe Access for Everyone (SAFE) Mobility Levy proposal groups transportation investments in the four focus areas shown in the pie chart below. While making investments in these four areas, the proposal also clearly notes that all projects constructed with levy funding will be designed in a manner that minimizes impact to the natural environment.

Specific projects will be selected by a project selection committee should the levy be approved by voters, but will include:

Two bikers bike down a path towards the foreground of the graphic with an evergreen tree in the background.

for walking and biking

A student with a backpack and student biker approach a school building.

to walk and bike to school

A pedestrian walks on a sidewalk in the foreground with a graphic representation of the Winslow core in the background.

in the Winslow core

A pedestrian walks across a crosswalk in the foreground of the graphic, with cars and a bicyclist sharing the road in the background.

within the seven-year levy (e.g. to provide partial funding for the Sound to Olympics Trail)

Click to enlarge

What kinds of projects will the levy fund?

How much would the levy cost?

The seven-year, $15-million SAFE Mobility Levy would be paid for through an increase in property tax of approximately $0.28/$1,000 of assessed value. For example, if the levy is approved by a simple majority of voters, the owner of a $660,000 home – the median value of a home on Bainbridge Island – would pay an estimated additional $185 in property taxes per year over a seven-year period.

Current 2018 property taxes (City of Bainbridge Island) + SAFE Mobility Levy

Assessed ValueCurrent 2018 Property Tax (Estimated)Current 2018 Property Tax + SAFE MOBILITY Levy (Estimated)Property tax increase/ year
$500,000 $538 $678 $140
$660,000 $710 $895 $185
$1,000,000 $1,076 $1,356 $280


Now is the time to learn more

To learn more about the levy, join us at one of our in-person events or read more in our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Three people with comment bubble near one person.

Join City staff at one of our upcoming workshops

Car and ferry boat in the water

Stop by our table on your ferry commute

  • Monday, Sept. 17
    • 3:50 p.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 4:45 p.m. Seattle ferry
    • 5:35 p.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 6:30 p.m. Seattle ferry
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9
    • 7:55 a.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 8:45 a.m. Seattle ferry
    • 9:40 a.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 10:40 a.m. Seattle ferry
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24
    • 2:55 p.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 3:50 p.m. Seattle ferry
    • 4:45 p.m. Bainbridge ferry
    • 5:45 p.m. Seattle ferry

A graphic representation of the farmers market with broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and milk

Visit us at the Farmers Market

  • Saturday, Oct. 6 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 20 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 3 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

A ballot box

General Election Reminders

  • Early October: Ballots arrive in mailboxes
  • Nov. 6, 2018: Election day; ballots due


Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the below to expand the box and read the answers to all your questions about the City of Bainbridge Island’s levy proposal.